Lab space is in demand as biotech research hits its stride

March 17, 2023 | BioFutures Magazine

The recently published 2023 BioFutures Magazine, highlights the latest news in the state’s thriving health and life-sciences sectors. In this annual publication, we found an article highlighting lab space demand as biotech research ramps up in Indiana (and beyond). Designing life science spaces to better innovate life-saving research is the cornerstone of IDO Incorporated and of our practice. Read more about how Indiana is leading the way in the procurement of biotech research space. 

Life sciences research is ramping up at warp speed, driven largely by advancements in DNA sequencing and synthesis and a resulting explosion in the number of biotech businesses. According to Entrepreneur magazine, the life sciences sector reported a record $70 billion in public and private capital investment in 2020, a 93% increase from 2018 numbers. The spike in research activity means increasing – and often unmet – demand for lab space and equipment nationwide.

In Indiana, nonprofit consortiums are stepping up to offer space and facilities that have become hard to find in the commercial market. Among them is the Indiana Center for Biomedical Innovation (ICBI), a life sciences incubator created in 2016 as a partnership between the Indiana University School of Medicine, the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Insititute, and IU Health, the state’s largest healthcare system.

The ICBI offers approximately 15,000 square feet of private web lab space, private offices, and conference rooms. It also provides specialized lab equipment that can be shared among the 11 companies now operating at the facility, which is a repurposed space with IU Health Methodist Hospital in downtown Indianapolis. “The ICBI fosters a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem that supports the translation of life sciences research and discoveries into commercial startup opportunities,” said Aaron Vigil-Martinez, director of the ICBI. “Thanks to our partners at IU Health and the IU School of Medicine, the ICBI is uniquely positioned to fill a critical gap within the ecosystem by providing a comprehensive life science incubation platform.”

Not far from ICBI’s incubator is the Indiana Biosciences Research Institute (IBRI), a consortium of life sciences companies, academic research institutions, the Indianapolis philanthropic community, and the IU School of Medicine. IBRI is the anchor tenant in Innovation Building 1 in the 16 Tech Innovation District, where it offers 68,000 square feet of lab, office, and event space, four main open-space labs, and 200 lab benches. It houses 13 life science startups, whose researchers have access to Machyne, a makerspace with workshops, design spaces, and a media lab; and 76 Forward, a global incubation network. Read more about 16 Tech and the Biocrossroads in our 2021 blog here.

In Fort Wayne, The Mirro Center for Research and Innovation, part of Parkview Health, offers a variety of services to life sciences entrepreneurs. Its Health Services and Informatics Research division is available to partner with outside researchers on traditional research studies, pilot studies, program evaluation, and user experience research. The Mirro Center’s Simulation Lab features advanced medical simulation technology, including surgical simulations and advanced virtual reality systems.

Advancing science in confronting AMR (antimicrobial resistance), cancer treatments and early detection testing, 3D biofrabrication, and manufacturing is a testament to Indiana’s ability to innovate and capture these sectors’ attention on a local, state, and national level. IDO is proud to have worked in the health & life sciences industries for over 30 years and continue to transform lab (and other) designs for the scientists, engineers, and other visionaries in the industry. 

BioFutures 2023, a partnership between The Indiana Health Industry Forum (IHIF) and Indianapolis Business Journal, highlights innovative Indiana life sciences startups, updates the work being done here in cancer research, look at the state’s thriving life-science incubators, and examines Indiana’s important role in the country’s national life sciences supply chain.

To read more about this publication, click here.



Written by Anne Holden